Found May 09, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is off to another slow start.
Loney went into Tuesday's game batting .198 and was hitless in his last 13 at-bats.
Manager Don Mattingly said that if Loney doesn't start hitting, his playing time could be cut.
"To me, we're getting to the point where it's just a production thing," Mattingly said. "You have to throw up some numbers out there somehow, some way. ... We have to find production from him. It's kind of that simple now."
The Dodgers have more lineup flexibility than they did a year ago, when Mattingly had no other viable options at first base outside of Loney. With the recent addition of outfielder Bobby Abreu, Mattingly can move Juan Rivera from left field to first base more often.
As it is, Loney has started only seven of the 14 games in which the Dodgers have faced a left-handed starting pitcher. Through Monday, Loney was hitting .111 against left-handers.
His playing time against right-handers could also be reduced.
Asked about his recent form, Loney shook his head and smiled.
"Every year, you know, there's always something," he said.
But the first baseman said this slump doesn't feel like the one he had last season, which he didn't break out of until mid-August. Last season, Loney was batting .254 as late as Aug. 20.
"Last year my timing was off," Loney said. "I feel like I'm on time."
Whatever the numbers read, Loney remains encouraged.
"If you're swinging at bad pitches and not swinging at good pitches, then your timing's probably off," he said. "But I'm not doing that."
Mattingly agreed with Loney's assertion that there was nothing wrong with his approach.
Loney knocked in the Dodgers' first run Tuesday when he doubled to left-center field to drive in Andre Ethier.
When Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon post thoughts about Dodgers victories on their Twitter accounts, their messages often end with the hashtag term, "BamSucka."
The phrase was imported into the Dodgers clubhouse by reserve outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who spent the off-season training in San Diego with teammate Aaron Harang and Washington Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady.
While working out, Nady frequently shouted, "Bam sucka!"
"He was yelling it after finishing a set, after doing something he felt good about doing," Gwynn said. "I used to just giggle so much. I don't know why I thought it was so funny."
Soon, Gwynn found himself shouting the phrase in the Dodgers' spring-training camp. Harang printed shirts with the phrase on it.
"It just kind of took off from there," Gwynn said. "Matt and Dee, they use it quite a bit."
Casey Blake, the third baseman on the Dodgers' playoff teams in 2008 and 2009, announced his retirement to the Des Moines Register. Blake's tenure with the Dodgers ended when he underwent neck surgery last season. The 38-year-old was in camp with the Colorado Rockies this spring but didn't make their opening-day roster. Jerry Hairston Jr. reported continued improvement in his strained hamstring and said he hopes to avoid landing on the disabled list. Sidelined reliever Matt Guerrier has been throwing on flat ground. He said he intends to throw off a mound "as soon as possible." Rubby De La Rosa and Blake Hawksworth are throwing on flat ground at the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is off to one of the worst starts of his career, and it could mean reduced playing time for the 28-year old if he doesn't turn things around soon.
Loney was hitting just .211 through Tuesday with one home run and seven RBI, though he did go 2-for-4 in the 3-2 loss to the Giants on Tuesday to snap an 0-for-13 skid.
Scott Van Slyke, newest Dodger?
Eric Stephen tweeted some potentially good news just minutes ago for Dodger fans:
"Source: Scott Van Slyke is getting called up to the Dodgers. He was hitting .336/.411/.623 w/ 9 2B & 8 HR in 32 games with @ABQTopes"
Click here to read Stephen's story about it.
Oh happy day.
During last night's game, I tweeted...
Scott Van Slyke, son of former National League All Star outfielder Andy Van Slyke, was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers today. Van Slyke replaces Juan Rivera on the active roster after Rivera was injured sliding into third base in a loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Andy Van Slyke got his big league career started as a key member of Whiteyball - the 1980's St. Louis...
Well, at least James Loney has value somewhere
Andre Ethier will be the first major question for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new ownership. The 30-year-old outfielder will become a free-agent at the end of the season, and he has recently indicated that he would be willing to sign an extension with the club.
Since 2006, Ethier has emerged as a mainstay in the Dodgers’ outfield, and he has become one of their most integral players...
We are now into May there have been several surprises this baseball season. To the surprise of most people, the Dodgers are in first place in the NL West. This is almost as crazy as Albert Pujols not hitting a homerun in the month of April, but oh wait… that happened…
So how are the Dodgers having all of this success? Well, a large part of that is due to Matt Kemp. Most people...
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Juan Rivera has been placed on the disabled list and Scott Van Slyke will take his place on the Dodgers. The Dodgers on Wednesday placed outfielder Juan Rivera on the 15-day disabled list with a significant hamstring strain or tear behind the left knee and were recalling outfielder Scott
"Son" Van Slyke
As Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports, Scott Van Slyke is called up to the Major League Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been on a tear while playing for the Dodgers’ Triple-A club in Albuquerque. Van Slyke is batting .336 with 8 HR and 25 RBI. Now, it’s time for the “Bigs.” Scott is the son of long time Major Leaguer, Andy Van Slyke. “Father”...
Last night, the Dodgers trailed the Giants 2-1 in the seventh inning. Juan Rivera and James Loney led off the inning with back-to-back singles, putting the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on base with nobody out. Juan Uribe, the #7 hitter in the line-up, was due up to hit.
Don Mattingly asked him to bunt, which, if successful, would have put runners at second...
After posting a 2.43 ERA and 2.73 FIP in 33.1 innings out of the bullpen last year, it seemed as if former top prospect Scott Elbert had found his future in the bullpen. This year though, he has struggled, posting a 5.87 ERA and a 6.35 FIP. So what’s wrong? His slider, apparently. “I feel
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a go-ahead three-run triple off Tim Lincecum, one inning after San Francisco's Nate Schierholtz ran into a critical out that helped kill a Giants' rally and the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers went on to a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.
The Dodgers have won six of their past seven series at home heading into a day off Thursday...
Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez proved as cool on the mound as he was atop I'll Have Another, tossing out a first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers' game as part of a whirlwind week since he pulled off the 15-1 upset at Churchill Downs.
The 25-year-old Gutierrez stood on the front slope of the mound Wednesday night and threw the ball over the plate to catcher...
With a six weeks of games in the books, here are 10 of the most added fantasy baseball players.
Note: the following "changes" are week-over-week percentages.
Change: +16.1 (54.8 percent owned)
Analysis: I hate mentioning a player back-to-back weeks, but Jansen is an exception to the rule because he finally bumped Javy Guerra from the closer's role...
Don Mattingly said that Kenley Jansen is now his closer. His exact words were, “There was a time and a place to put a closer in the setup role and an inferior pitcher in the closer role and that time has past. I will no try to figure out why I ever shaved my mustache. Things were much easier when Joe Torre was in the dugout managing the team and not on speed dial. ‘Ooh...
Pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a go-ahead three-run triple off Tim Lincecum, one inning after San Francisco's Nate Schierholtz ran into a critical out that helped kill a Giants' rally and the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers went on to a 6-2 victory Wednesday night.
The Dodgers have won six of their past seven series at home heading into a day off Thursday before Colorado...